Spanish Formal Commands

Beginner Spanish - Level A2


Formal commands are what in Spanish is used to give commands, telling other people what to do. It has also been referred to “imperative form of the verb.

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Spanish A2


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Formal Commands in Spanish

Formal commands are what in Spanish is used to give commands, telling other people what to do. It has also been referred to “imperative form of the verb. While informal the word “tú, formal commands use the word “usted,” and “ustedes,” is used to refer to a group of people (plural).

We have noted before, that “usted,” is used for anyone who is older, in order to show respect. If you are not sure if you should use the informal way or formal, try using the formal first. If that person wants you to talk to them in “tú,” form, she/he will let you know.

The formal commands are formed very similar to the informal.

  1. Look at the “yo” indicative present
  2. Remove the “o” ending
  3. Add these endings according to the type of verb

For “ar” verbs, add “e” to the ending of the word in singular. “en” for plural forms (ustedes)

For verbs ending in “er” or “ir, add “a” (for singular) and “an,” (plural) to the ending of the word. These is the same format you will follow for irregular verbs as well.

Hablar   -     Hable   -   Hablen

Comer -     Coma   -     Coman

When giving a formal command, you may or may not use the actual word “usted,” or “ustedes,” however, when you use it, it adds politeness to the conversation.

Tenga usted un buena tarde.     Have yourself a great afternoon.

Usually, in Latin American countries, people use the word “usted,” to speak to teachers, the elderly, people in authority, doctors, and anyone who is 20 years older than you. If you use this formula, you will be safe.

Por favor camine más lentamente   - Please walk slower!   (usted) (singular)

Por favor caminen ustedes mas lentamente – Please walk slower (plural)

If you are using a verb that is irregular, you will continue to use the irregular form in a formal command. This is also the way we proceed when we use verbs which stems are changed: Cuente con nosotros. - Count with us.

Verbs whose stem is change will be “ser,” - Sea usted bienvenido. You are welcome.

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Underline the correct word in each sentence to give a formal command.

  1. (haga/hagas) su maleta para poder viajar. (Hacer)
  2. (Tenga/Ten) este dinero para que compres la comida. (tener)
  3. (Conozca/Conoce) este lugar tan bonito; te gustará. (conocer)
  4. (Cocine/Cocina) el pollo para comer en el almuerzo. (Cocinar)
  5. (Ayude/Ayuda) a tu abuela a cruzar la calle. (Ayudar)
  6. (Enseñe/ Enseña) la clase de Historia para los alumnos. (Enseñar)
  7. (Escriba/Escribe) la carta para la prima Eulice. (Escribir)
  8. (Compre/Compra) una casa grande con cuatro cuartos. (comprar)
  9. (Lleve/Lleva) la ropa a la otra tienda.
  10. (Da/De) una limosna para la gente de la calle. (Dar)


Answer Key: 1. Haga   2. Ten   3. Conozca   4. Cocine   5. Ayude 6. Enseñe   7. Escriba   8. Compre   9. Lleve   10. De

Cocine (usted)   -   Cook                                         Ayude (usted) - Help

Planche (usted) - Iron                                           Enseñe (usted) Teach

Traiga (usted)     - Bring it                                       Cante (usted) - Sing

Lleve (usted)     - Take it                                       Baile (usted) - Dance

Escriba (usted)   - Write                                           Venga (usted) - Come here

Llevenos (ustedes) - Take us                                   Asista (usted) - Attend

Conozca (usted) – Meet                                           Conserve (usted) - To keep

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